Capturing Los Angeles in a single book? All of Los Angeles? The history and the building of and every part of everything? Not easy. Probably impossible.
But telling our megalopolisian story through the people who built and influenced and loved our city is an excellent start. "Dreamers in Dream City" by Harry Brant Chandler debuted earlier this year, and we've already put it down as a must-get holiday gift for several Angelenos we know.
Mr. Chandler -- the grandson of Dorothy Chandler -- you might have heard of her -- we jest, because, Dorothy Chandler (!) -- knows a lot about LA, and adores it. He profiles CAA trainees and Ray Bradbury and Frank Gehry and William Mulholland and Huell Howser, among other local notables both past and present.
Huell Howser. Now that is a man who loves this city and state, wholeheartedly so. Mr. Howser, we do tip our cap to your enthusiasm with every "California's Gold" airing.
"Dreamers in Dream City" is from Angel City Press. The photos are lovely and the summaries evocative and you-are-with-the-person-being-spotlighted-ish. We'd recommend the book solely on the strength of the Dorothy Chandler quote at the top of her page, which is quite stirring. It summons feelings of civic pride and responsibility, not to mention a hope for LA's tomorrows.
Find the book and read the quote and be stirred yourself.